Do you have a clove of garlic that has sprouted, or potatoes with eyes? Think twice before you toss them in the trash, as you can use these items to grow more! Yes, you can grow garlic, potatoes and even pineapple, all from scraps! Check out this article from Earth911 to learn more about gardening with food scraps. Some of these foods might surprise you!
Public Green Blog
Looking for something to do Saturday, May 18 or Sunday, May 19? Check out the Chicago Green Festival at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago). The festival includes eco-fashion exhibits, hands-on workshops, live music, and much more. Also be sure to check out the Green Marketplace, which features products and services from local and national green and sustainable businesses and organizations.
The festival hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information visit the Green Festival Chicago website.
The Kenneth Young Center Resale Shop (1150 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg) will host a re-purposing event on Wednesday, April 3, at 9 a.m.
Customers will have the opportunity to view live demonstrations on how to renew, re-purpose and “up cycle” various household items. Pick up some crafty ideas and support the Center, which provides mental health and senior services to the community.
For more information, call 847-524-8800 or visit the Kenneth Young Center website.
Got a closet full of old prom dresses? Do you even still have the matching shoes? Here’s a great way to re-cycle them. The Glass Slipper Project is currently collecting prom dresses and accessories for its annual distribution to students who are unable to purchase their own prom dresses and accessories.
The nearest drop-off location is Zengler Cleaners (550 Dundee Road, Northbrook). For more info, go to Glass Slipper Project.
Most people do not know the power of vinegar to kill weeds. Vinegar will eliminate weeds without the potential hazards of powerful chemicals. Just spray the vinegar on the leaves of the weeds until they are wet and in a matter of days, the weeds will be dead.
There are two things you should know about using vinegar to kill weeds:
- Vinegar is activated by sunlight. So, check your weather report and try to pick a day when it will be sunny and not raining.
- Vinegar does not discriminate! It will kill ALL plants that it is sprayed on. So, only spray it on the weeds you want to kill. Do not get it on your flowers, tomato plants, etc.
Besides being safe and effective, vinegar is inexpensive. All types of vinegar will work and white vinegar is usually the least expensive.
FYI: Vinegar is great to use to kill the weeds that grow in sidewalk cracks.
Featuring Environmentally-Friendly Vendors, Services and Cutting Edge Music
Chicago's West Town will receive a fresh green coat this summer as it plays host to the Green Music Fest, Saturday June 26th through Sunday, June 27th on Chicago Ave. between Ashland and Noble. The innovative green technology-themed event will reflect the hip and environmentally-conscious West Town community by fusing original live music with green vendors, services and local retail, art, craft and food vendors.
Why not add some green to your 4th of July celebration. Here are a few tips to consider to make your holiday celebration a little more environmentally friendly.
-Instead of using disposable plates, plastic cups and silverware, use your every day table ware. If you must use some type of disposable table ware, consider ones that are compostable.
-Help guests do something green by asking that they bring their own drinking cups, which not only helps to reduce waste, but also helps guests to tell their cups apart.
-Celebrate outside! By moving your gathering outside, you can help reduce your home's energy consumption.
-Instead of shooting off your own fireworks, get a group together to carpool, and go see a public fireworks display. If you must shoot off your own fireworks, consider those that are higher in nitrogen, as they produce less smoke.
-Instead of buying water in individual plastic bottles for guests, have water pitchers or other large containers that can be refilled.
-Reuse or recycle what you can after your celebration is complete.
-Instead of having one large container for guests to dispose of waste, have several smaller containers that are labeled for what items are to be placed inside. For example, you could have one for paper, one for plastic, glass and cans, another for compostable materials, and another for garbage.
For more information, visit:
With summer vacations coming up here are a few ways to make your traveling more "green":
Before leaving home:
- Turn water heater to lowest setting.
- Appliances such as TV's and cable converter boxes should be unplugged because they can draw as much as
40 watts per hour even when they're off.
- Turn water off to your home in case a pipe were to break or a faucet were to start leaking.
Preparing for green travel:
- Purchase elctronic tickets whenever possible.
- Book flights that recycle. British Airways has a very strong environmental agenda.Southwest Airlines
recycles all cabin waste and was the first airline to offerelectronic ticketing.
- When possible use hotel or airport shuttles, or public transportation.
Things to do at the hotel (preferably a green one):
- During your hotel stay let management know that it is not necessary to change your sheets
and towels every day.
- Turn off lights and the air conditioning when leaving the hotel room.
- Avoid room service.
At your destination:
- Use a refillable water bottle instead of buying bottled water.
- Say no to plastic bags. Use your own eco-friendly reusable bag.
- Explore the city you’re visiting on foot, by renting a bike or taking public transportation.
- Take advantage of walking tours or self-guided audio tours at many attractions.
- Eat at an organic restaurant.
These are just a few tips about traveling green. You can find more at:
You don't need to use harsh chemicals to keep your whites looking like new. Try one of these tips to whiten your clothes naturally without bleach.
Baking Soda is a wonderful ingredient to whiten clothes naturally without bleach. That's why it's used everyday in many whitening toothpastes and natural household cleaners. To whiten clothing with Baking Soda, add about ½ cup into the wash plus your regular detergent. Clothes will come out whiter and brighter without chemicals.
Vinegar is another wonder ingredient you can use to whiten clothes naturally without bleach. If the smell scares you, don't worry. Your clothes won't smell like vinegar. The smell may linger in your washing machine for a bit but your clothes won't smell. Simply add about ¾ cup of vinegar to your wash along with your regular detergent to whiten clothes naturally without bleach.
Hydrogen Peroxide is an excellent alternative to bleach and can be used successfully to whiten clothes naturally without bleach. Add about ½ cup to your wash with regular detergent and your clothes will come out as whiter than ever.
Borax is often advertised as a laundry brightener and can be found in your grocery store's laundry aisle. It's a naturally occurring mineral that has long been valued for its whitening properties. Borax is used in all sorts of natural cleaning products. It can clean anything from toilets to dishes. But most of all, it will whiten clothes naturally without bleach. Add about ½ cup of Borax to a regular load of laundry, along with your regular detergent for whiter, brighter clothes instantly.
Sunlight! Sunlight is one of the best tools we have available to whiten clothes naturally without bleach. If you have a clothes line, simply hang your clothing out to dry in the warm sun. The sun will whiten and refresh your clothes like nothing else.
For the best whitening results, wash your clothes with regular detergent plus one of the above mentioned natural laundry whiteners. Then, hang the clothes out to dry in the sun. You'll be amazed at how much whiter they are and it was all done without bleach or harsh chemicals.
Prevent oil discharges from the bilge. Keep your engine well tuned to prevent fuel and oil leaks. Put an oil absorbent pad in your bilge and under your engine where drips may occur.
Spill proof your oil changes by using an oil change pump to transfer oil to a spill proof container. Wrap a plastic bag or absorbent pad around the oil filter to stop oil from spilling into the bilge.
When fueling prevent fuel spills by filling fuel tanks slowly and catching drips and spills with a rag. Don't "top off" your tank, leave it ten percent empty to allow fuel to expand as it warms.
Never use soap to to disperse fuel and oil spills.It is illegal and increases harm to the environment.
Save boat cleaning and repairs for the boat yard whenever possible. If you must work on the water, minimize your impact by containing waste. Use tarps and vacuum sanders.
Use only nontoxic antifouling paints. Remember dry storage reduces the need for paints and saves money.
Manage sewage waste properly. Never discharge sewage within three miles of shore. Use shore side facilities if you don't have an installed toilet.
Keep your trash on board until you reach land and it can be properly disposed of.
Reduce water pollution by using phosphate-free biogradegradable soap.
Sail or kayak!